Sam Lowes tops Moto2 Testing in Qatar
Fenati takes the spoils in Moto3
Sam Lowes’ Moto2 time recorded during the weekend’s official Moto2 test session in Qatar was quick enough to have put him on pole for the MotoGP race that took place at Qatar in 2004. The new Triumph powered era of Moto2, with the much larger 765cc triple-cylinder engine compared to the CBR600RR based powerplant used in previous seasons, will surely see Moto2 lap records fall dramatically this season.
The Briton’s 1m58.439s on the final day enough to beat second place Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) by a significant 0.224 seconds. Lowes’ times was more than half-a-second under the Moto2 qualifying lap record, and almost a full-second under the race lap record for the intermediate class at Losail. In fact the top 10 were under the qualifying lap record, and 19 riders were all under the previous race lap record at the 5.38 km circuit.
Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) continued his impressive pre-season speed with third, 0.316 off P1. Gardner was fast in every session across all of the three days in Qatar, and was also well under the previous lap record. The young Australian was a full 2.5-seconds quicker on the SAG backed Kalex framed machine than he had managed last year on the Tech3 machine during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Qatar.
Fourth went the way of Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40), on 1m58.775s, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) just another 0.030 back in fifth.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Xavi Vierge ended the three-day test just ahead of Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the three Spaniards occupy sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Ninth went to Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), his 1:58.980 putting him 0.541 off Lowes, with Day 1’s fastest rider Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top ten.
Moto2 Official Test Times – Qatar 2019
- Sam Lowes – Kalex 1m58.439
- Tom Luthi – Kalex 1m58.663
- Remy Gardner – Kalex 1m58.755
- Augusto Fernandez – Kalex 1m58.757
- Marcel Schrotter – Kalex 1m58.787
- Xavi Vierge – Kalex 1m58.880
- Jorge Navarro – Speed Up 1m58.923
- Alex Marquez – Kalex 1m58.948
- Luca Marini – Kalex 1m58.980
- Brad Binder – KTM 1m58.999
- Jorge Martin – KTM 1m59.039
- Iker Lecuona – KTM 1m59.200
- Nicolo Bulega – Kalex 1m59.226
- Tesuta Nagashima – Kalex 1m59.306
- Bo Bendsneyder – NTS 1m59.308
- Lorenzo Baldassarri – Kalex 1m59.325
- Andrea Locatelli – Kalex 1m59.335
- Enea Bastianini – Kalex 1m59.351
- Fabio Di Giannantonio – Speed Up 1m59.407
- Somkiat Chandra – Kalex 1m59.734
- Simone Corsi – Kalex 1m59.829
- Khairul Idham Pawi – Kalex 2m00.148
- Jesko Raffin – NTS 2m00.334
- Joe Roberts – KTM 2m00.414
- Jake Dixon – KTM 2m00.495
- Dominique Aegerter – MV Agusta 2m00.546
- Lukas Tulovic – KTM 2m00.725
- Marco Bezzecchi – KTM 2m00.921
- Philipp Oettl – KTM 2m01.337
- Stefano Manzi – MV Agusta 2m01.564
- Xavier Cardelus – KTM 2m01.656
- Dimas Ekky Pratama – Kalex 2m01.824
In Moto3, Romano Fenati (Snipers Team) ended the test at the top of the timesheets after going quickest on the final day, setting a best time of 2:05.285 to head teammate Tony Arbolino by 0.230. With many focusing on a fast lap – and some on trying to get a tow – it was a frantic final day of action.
All of the lightweight class riders, except the injured Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), went quicker on the third and final day of testing at Losail International Circuit. But it was the Snipers Team duo who locked out the top two positions at the end of play, just like they have done on the previous two days.
Their closest challenger was Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), with 0.368 splitting him from Fenati in third.
Fourth fastest was Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, the only other rider within half a second of Fenati, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing a top five covered by 0.507 seconds.
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ended the test in sixth place with a best time of 2:05.899, the British rider sitting 0.131 ahead of seventh-placed Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing).
“We have had three very productive days here in Qatar. We already had a good base set-up for the bike after the Jerez test but we have kept working as a team to improve the feeling even more. I am very happy with how the team is working, they have all been fantastic and step by step we have improved the lap time and our race pace. These three days we mainly focused on race pace and race setting and I feel very comfortable and consistent over a long run. We treated the second session tonight as more like a qualifying session to see what lap time we could manage and we ended up happy with the lap time because I set it on my own. It is great to finish the last test of pre-season like this.”
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was eighth, just ahead of Sky Racing Team VR46 duo Dennis Foggia and rookie Celestino Vietti – it was ninth and tenth on the timesheets for the Italians respectively.
Moto3 Official Test Times – Qatar 2019
- Romano Fenati – Honda 2m05.285
- Tony Arbolino – Honda 2m05.515
- Aron Canet – KTM 2m05.563
- Lorenzo Dalla Porta – Honda 2m05.771
- Niccolo Antonelli – Honda 2m05.792
- John McPhee – Honda 2m05.899
- Marcos Ramirez – Honda 2m06.030
- Tatsuki Suzuki – Honda 2m06.090
- Dennis Foggia – KTM 2m06.199
- Celestino Vietti – KTM 2m06.200
- Kaito Toba – Honda 2m06.206
- Alonso Lopez – Honda 2m06.243
- Kazuki Masaki – KTM 2m06.246
- Albert Arenas – KTM 2m06.312
- Ayumu Sasaki – Honda 2m06.341
- Darryn Binder – KTM 2m06.503
- Raul Fernandez – KTM 2m06.558
- Jakub Kornfeil – KTM 2m06.590
- Ai Ogura – Honda 2m06.671
- Gabriel Rodrigo – Honda 2m06.736
- Vicente Perez – KTM 2m06.787
- Sergio Garcia – Honda 2m06.975
- Can Oncu – KTM 2m06.984
- Filip Salac – KTM 2m07.217
- Makar Yurchenko – KTM 2m07.227
- Andrea Migno – KTM 2m07.427
- Riccardo Rossi – Honda 2m07.992
- Tom Booth-Amos – KTM 2m08.084